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Graduate Studies
MSc in Sustainable Agriculture & Management

The Master of Science in Sustainable Agriculture & Management is an academic program focused on developing Agronomists specialized in the application of sustainable methods in agriculture. Graduates can be employed in agricultural related industries in Greece and internationally, work as agri-consultants/experts and create their own innovative agri-businesses.

The program aims to instill the knowledge, skills and mindset needed to thrive in the agricultural sector, as well as the critical skills and perspectives for doing it, through a combination of multi-disciplinary classroom and distance learning teaching (blended model), laboratory sessions, visits, case studies and research projects. 

Classes take place either online (synchronous and asynchronous distance learning) or in the classroom in the evening on week days and on weekends, offering students who are currently employed the flexibility needed to pursue graduate work.

The program will enable and equip graduates with the necessary technological/digital tools and knowledge to work in the agricultural sector for developing and efficiently managing sustainable crop production systems to meet the new world challenges and the recent E.U. legislation (CAP2022) in agriculture and the environment.

Distinctive features of the program

The program follows a holistic approach that will enable students understand the problems, challenges and the opportunities within the agro-environmental continuum and total production system.

The program is designed to be client-specific. In that respect, students will be able to focus and acquire in depth knowledge and become specialists on the specific crop production and management system of their choice. During the third semester, students will have the opportunity to think of and create their own major research issue in the context of sustainable agriculture and management and holistically study the major parameters involved in implementation. During the final semester of their studies, students will engage in primary research on a topic of their choice or one proposed by the Supervising Faculty.

In this highly innovative, client-specific environment, and in-depth research projects, students will acquire the skills and underpinning knowledge needed to follow a range of career paths both in Greece and abroad in agro-food industries in fields related to the use of new technologies in agriculture, sustainable management strategies, advisory bodies on legislation & communication, or as purchasing managers of raw materials and operational managers. Graduates will also be able to work as entrepreneurs, independent consultants and trainers in the agro-food sector.

Perrotis College has extensive links and established collaborations with the agricultural industry in research projects and transfer of knowledge.  This M.Sc. degree may also lead on to further study at a higher level (e.g., Ph.D.). 

In addition to the modules that the students will be studying, the institution will run a series of seminars delivered by visiting lecturers from the industry, Research and Educational Institutions from Greece, E.U., U.S.A., Australia and more, and research seminars from members of faculty, academics and post-graduate research students. All the graduate students will be invited to attend to broaden their knowledge and to provide network opportunities with potential employers. Updated educational methods will be used, including distance and digital learning systems. Support in writing (Writing Center and Library), mentoring (older students are mentoring the new), tutoring and advising are provided by the College.

The impactful results of the program are achieved through the use of four complimentary components:

Academic teaching

Academic rigor creates clarity of thought and the ability to make fast, actionable decisions. The academic part of the program is not just about learning theory; instead, it is aimed at providing clarity of thought in a confusing world and looking for solutions to actual and realistic cases. The Faculty at Perrotis College Graduate School offers the latest academic thinking frameworks to help students chart their own path. The blended learning environment combines face-to-face interactive teaching with distance learning that incorporates video, text and small group work to provide the most useful and rigorous experience that still allows the flexibility and real-time application enabled by a part-time program, where needed.

Learn-by-doing
The program follows a holistic and integrated approach that will enable students understand the problems and the opportunities within the  agricultural supply chain, based on the recently developed E.U. concept: from farm to fork. The program is designed to be client-specific. In that respect, students will be able to focus and acquire in depth knowledge and become specialists on the specific crop and management methodologies. Moreover, students meet industry practitioners and learn about emerging challenges and the solutions they found to overcome them. These interactions help students expand not just their industry-specific knowledge but also shape the way they approach their own challenges and develop innovative solutions at the farm level.

Research project

During the final semester of their studies, students will engage in primary research on a topic of their choice or one proposed by the Supervising Faculty.

Indicatively, such fields may include:

  • Innovative & sustainable crop management systems using new technologies of Precision Agriculture (PA)
  • Ecological based crop production systems
  • New hydroponic systems technologies
  • Sustainable management of specific crop species
  • Methods and application of crop production systems to mitigate/adapt to climate change effects
  • Increase Management and Input Use Efficiency (MUE/IUE) in farms
  • Enforcement of sustainability and efficiency in agriculture production systems
  • Applied bio-economy and cyclic-economy to increase sustainability in agriculture
  • Digital technologies for Smart Agriculture/Smart Farming Meeting the challenges of the new CAP in EU – development of a model farm
  • Satellite agriculture – using GIS and satellite imaging for ag enhancement
  • UAVs (Drones) application for remote sensing, pesticide spraying and foliar fertilization for environmental and farm sustainability
  • Farm Business consultancy for sustainable crop production
  • Enforcement of sustainability and efficiency in agriculture production systems
  • Applied bio-economy and cyclic-economy to increase sustainability in agriculture
  • Soil microbial inoculants and bio stimulants for sustainable crop production
  • No-tillage farming systems
  • Climate-Smart Farming applications in crop production
  • Farm scaping and ecologically based pest management
  • Developing cover crop systems for sustainable soil management and weed suppression
  • Nutrient cycling and nitrogen contribution of multispecies cover crop mixtures in organic agriculture
  • Soil fertility management in organic vegetable production
  • Perennial cover crop systems in orchards
  • Design model Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) production systems

Collaborative network

It is essential for students to build a vibrant network and develop expertise to allow them to discover new opportunities, learn, and raise their visibility and professional status. The Perrotis College School of Graduate Studies has extensive ties with the agricultural industry, other Academic and Research Institutions and Centers in Greece and abroad, model farmers and ag-cooperatives in terms of collaboration in research projects and dissemination of knowledge. Students will be brought into contact with alumni, researchers, industry experts and mentors during the many events offered and will be able to visit various industries and related thematic fairs and activities. All these interactions allow the students to broaden their network and, in collaboration with the career office, to explore further employment opportunities.

Student handbook

 

 

STUDY
SEMESTER 1
 
The following courses are common for all first year students:
 
Entrepreneurship- A multidisciplinary module that leads to the development of entrepreneurial mind-sets amongst its students through a series of methodologies such as ideation, experimentation, and actionable business planning for a new venture that includes business model creation, marketing strategy, operations strategy, financial strategy and pitching development.
 
Consumer Needs and Trends- A multidisciplinary module that applies psychology, sociology, and others marketing-related social sciences, as well as data-driven research to develop learners understanding and discovery the fundamental individual and social variables that determine behaviour in the marketplace.
 
Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Agricultural Systems- A leading-edge module that provides learners with advanced knowledge of innovative technologies the field of agricultural systems, as well as skills to develop and manage sustainable production systems.
 
Bioinformatics/Genomics- A leading-edge module that covers a wide range of topics: from computational biology of RNA processing, comparative bioinformatics and comparative genomics to gene function and evolution and genomic and epigenomic variation. Learners apply these methodologies to the development of new products and services in the agro-food business.
 
Research Methods and Data Management- A module that develops learners’ skills in executing scientific research and includes methodologies for research study design, data collection methods, data analysis, presentation and interpretation of findings, with the objective of supporting business decisions and enhancing results’ uptake and use by target audiences.
 
SEMESTER 2
 
Ecologically based pest & disease management - This  module explores current concepts and approaches to managing pests in agriculture using agroecological principles. It provides an advanced level understanding of fundamental crop-pest interactions with emphasis on the underlying ecological processes. Through case studies, It explores the latest scientific advances towards the sustainable management of pests based on the ecological understanding of the interactions between pests,weeds and crops. Students will develop the knowledge and tools required to analyze cropping systems and to design innovative and sustainable physical and cultural control methods for pest management.
 
Precision agriculture applications for Sustainable Farm management)-This  module introduces students to understanding and implementing Precision Agriculture (PA) applications in crop production systems, to achieve efficiency and sustainability. Major developments in Precision Agriculture technologies will be taught and/or demonstrated and implications to the future of agriculture will be discussed and outlined, Main emphasis will be the applications of PA in the new forthcoming Common Agricultural Policy-CAP of EU in 2020-2027.
 
Farm Business Management - The aim of this module is to enable students to develop a deep understanding of farm management  skills and implications of running a farming business. More specifically, students will learn how to prepare budgets and business plans, plan and execute their maintenance and investments, analyze the financial aspects of running the business (financial statements and cashflow analysis) and ways to improve productivity in terms of total production, and develop strategic skills. Finally, apply principles of sustainable economy in farm management.
 
Climate change  & Agrometeorology - This  module explores fundamentals and advanced issues of climate change effects in agriculture and principles of agrometeorology as it relates to climate change. Understanding climatic variables affecting climate change and furthermore the impact on crops and the ecosystem. Through case studies, it explores the latest scientific advances towards the causes of climate change and efforts to mitigate it. Students will develop the knowledge and use modeling tools required to analyze effects of climate change in cropping systems and the environment.
 
Sustainable crop production systems -This module explores current concepts and approaches to managing in a sustainable mode crop production systems using informative tools, processing and technologies for better analysis and efficient decision making. Major emphasis will be directed towards increased farm operation efficiency, better awareness of environmental impact, enhanced recordkeeping quality and sustainability, through a more information-driven management framework of technologies related with sustainable crop production.

SEMESTER 3

Innovative olive production & processing management - This module is directed towards specific need of MSC research, for those students undertaken a Thesis related to the module’s issues. It aims to provide understanding the concepts and methodologies related to in innovative olive production &processing systems.

Agro-ecological design and integrated farming systems- This  module explores the fundamental interactions and the use of holistic approaches in agroecosystem design and ecological crop andfarm management.It provides an advanced level review of agroecological principles and practices that can be implemented in traditional, modern and integrated farming systems and explores current issues in agricultural crop production (including soil quality, weed, pest and disease management, biodiversity).Through case studies and published scientific literature this module will examine current practices in sustainable agriculture, the integration with animal production and their ecological, economic and social implications.The use of agroecological design will be examined as a tool to increase the sustainability of a variety of farming systems.

Research Methods-This module is designed to introduce the student to the field of research from an academic perspective.  While in the Research Methods and Data Management module emphasis was on the practical elements of undertaking market research, this module will evaluate academic approach strategies, philosophical stance and implications, academic perspectives on data collection, research question development, ethical considerations and problem recognition. This approach allows for an ongoing development of the student’s skill set, and provides the foundations for the dissertation module and career progression.

MSc Dissertation (3ο& 4οsemester ) - Build upon the knowledge gained in Research Methods. The aims are to: Foster an independent approach to research or the solution to a problems associated with food production/ To apply acquired knowledge and skills to a specific problem, in order to demonstrate an ability to make valid judgements and to communicate them clearly. To display personal initiative and independent thought in order to produce a problem-solving strategy. To identify areas for in-depth study that will contribute to a student’s profile in demonstrating an ability to show knowledge of a subject in depth.

 

 

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